‘Sir,’ said the man in a deep, but not unpleasant voice, ’allow me to introduce to you my friend, Mr. —–, the celebrated pugilist’; and he motioned with his hand towards the massive man with the flattened nose.
‘And your own name, sir?’ said the magistrate.
‘My name is no matter,’ said the man; ’were I to mention it to you, it would awaken within you no feeling of interest. It is neither Kean nor Belcher, and I have as yet done nothing to distinguish myself like either of those individuals, or even like my friend here. However, a time may come—we are not yet buried; and whensoever my hour arrives, I hope I shall prove myself equal to my destiny, however high—
‘Like bird that’s bred amongst the Helicons.’
And here a smile half theatrical passed over his features.
‘In what can I oblige you, sir?’ said the magistrate.
’Well, sir; the soul of wit is brevity; we want a place for an approaching combat between my friend here and a brave from town. Passing by your broad acres this fine morning we saw a pightle, which we deemed would suit. Lend us that pightle, and receive our thanks; ’twould be a favour, though not much to grant: we neither ask for Stonehenge nor for Tempe.’
My friend looked somewhat perplexed; after a moment, however, he said, with a firm but gentlemanly air, ’Sir, I am sorry that I cannot comply with your request.’
‘Not comply!’ said the man, his brow becoming dark as midnight; and with a hoarse and savage tone, ‘Not comply! why not?’
‘It is impossible, sir; utterly impossible!’
‘I am not compelled to give my reasons to you, sir, nor to any man.’
‘Let me beg of you to alter your decision,’ said the man, in a tone of profound respect.
‘Utterly impossible, sir; I am a magistrate.’
’Magistrate! then fare ye well, for a green-coated buffer and a Harmanbeck.’
‘Sir!’ said the magistrate, springing up with a face fiery with wrath.
But, with a surly nod to me, the man left the apartment; and in a moment more the heavy footsteps of himself and his companion were heard descending the staircase.
‘Who is that man?’ said my friend, turning towards me.
‘A sporting gentleman, well known in the place from which I come.’
‘He appeared to know you.’
‘I have occasionally put on the gloves with him.’
‘What is his name?’
Doubts—Wise king of Jerusalem—Let me see—A thousand years—Nothing new—The crowd—The hymn—Faith—Charles Wesley—There he stood—Farewell, brother—Death—Sun, moon, and stars—Wind on the heath.